Onshape what extras do you like?

We’re liking the collaboration convenience of Onshape. Though we don’t like that it is not as complete out of the box as the other options out there.

What are your team’s go to apps and feature-scripts to fill in the gaps?
I’d like to get a running list together.

(or other programs. I know a few teams like to export and use Fusion 360 for CAM)

MKCad is absolutely fantastic. I would recommend using the “Labels” feature to create a shortcut to the various MKCad projects so you can quickly access them.

The “Lighten” featurescript does a pretty good job of FRC-style plate pocketing at a fraction of the effort. No more manually fixing fillets that crash into each other.

While you can mirror in a Part Studio, there is no mirror functionality in an assembly. There’s a 973 RAMP video on a workaround; essentially adding a axis triad object at the origin giving you an axis to circular pattern around.


FWIW you can circular pattern around mate connectors as of a few months ago. This opens up more options for assembly workflow.


The Beam and Beam Profile feature scripts are absolutely fantastic for creating really quick frame and structural geometries with the standard FRC extrusions. It does all of the miters for you, usually saving a substantial amount of time.


Though this is a nice workaround, it still is a significant disadvantage compared to other major CAD platforms that hasn’t been implemented yet. Assembly-level mirrors are one of the highest requested feature and Onshape is almost certainly working on it, but for the time being it is quite a pain to accomplish something that in most other programs is seemingly trivial.

Where is the community going to for Onshape tutorials and videos?

They have some good tutorials and practice parts on their site. After you create an account, go to the upper left and look for “Learning Center”

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The Onshape Learning Center is actually a fantastic resource for teaching the software and honestly CAD in general. There are limits to what you can access, but the basics are free.


I just realized they even have certifications on their learning material.


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If you get the education license, all the resources are open :grinning: (I just check today)

Some of the courses definitely still have costs associated, specifically the instructor-led ones, but yes, all of the automated courses are free (which is absolutely fantastic).

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At this point, I feel like it is pretty misleading to say Onshape isn’t a complete CAD option. Sure, there are still a few nice-to-have features missing, but stock Onshape would result in improved CAD for over 50% of teams. Add in MKCad, and I would bump that number up to 75-95% of teams. To be clear from a pure CAD prospective, I wouldn’t recommend Onshape (I use SolidWorks professionally). But for an FTC or FRC team, I think the advantages of the environment (collaboration, team and individual cloud storage, no installations, updates, or licensing) outweigh a handful of missing features (assembly mirror, exploded view, etc.). For all we know, these features won’t even be missing by kickoff. The barrier to entry is so low, every student on my team has an account and many of them use it to design, pull measurements, or just observe. This was unimaginable to me a few years ago before we switched.

But to answer the question at hand:
MKCad: pic: Introducing MKCad, the Onshape FRC Parts Library

I would also recommend my Custom Extrusion Featurescript detailed here: pic: Custom Length Extrusion - Onshape FeatureScript

That featurescript might appeal to building more complete structures in an Part Studio. I have added some configurable length extrusions to MKCad which is the other way to go about it. Each method has its pros and cons.

Most of these are now part of MKCad (just look for “Configurable” in the Document name): Vex Configurable Parts in Onshape!

Also: Some Helpful Featurescripts

Standard content for inserting hardware into assemblies (screws, washers, nuts) is built into Onshape now.

Some robots to reference: List of robots/mechs in onshape

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Oh man, I 100% agree that this is perfect for FRC/FTC!

I use SW at work and Fusion at home, so you and I are no stranger to what capabilities are out there. As such I would still recommend Onshape 10 times over for students.

Also, thanks for the links.

I have a whole bunch of featurescripts I use personally-- the biggest ones are below:

  • Lighten - this is absolutely essential, and is by far my most used one
  • Spur Gear - if you’re adding teeth to anything, this is essential-- very easy to use
  • Spacer, Shaft, and FiletXpert - Nick has done a great job with these, and they’re slowly replacing manually CADDing these types of parts for me
  • Set Material - Essential for getting correct weights

I do like the Beam and Belt Featurescripts, but I don’t use them very often.

Also, shoutout to their Standard Content library, which, despite missing some things, it pretty darn solid. Add nylocks and extended ranges of bolts please!